Instead of escaping winter, a recent category of hotels has decided instead to embrace it: Welcome to ice hotels, structures that are rebuilt and usually redesigned each winter in some of the coldest regions on earth. Incorporating millions of pounds of snow and ice blocks these hotels will help you celebrate cool by sleeping under giant ice sculptures and eat from a frozen plate, all while staying warm. Here is top five of the coolest hotels for you to stay in.
ICEHOTEL (Jukkasjärvi, Sweden)
Located 200 km from the Arctic Circle, ICEHOTEL became the first ice hotel in the world. The idea of its creation was born by chance: after visitors to the ice art exhibition in Jukkasjärvi had to spend the night right on the floor of the exhibition hall. Since then, tourists come here every year to enjoy the northern lights and sleep in an ice bed.
The latest idea of the hotel now means you can sleep in an ice-made room any time and any day of the year. Kept cold by a refrigeration unit, ICEHOTEL 365 offers the best of both worlds. For a more traditional experience, stay in the original hotel, which melts and is rebuilt by ice sculptors from all over the world every year.
The ICEHOTEL is also within easy reach of Abisko – one of the best places in the world to see the northern lights.
Hôtel de Glace (Quebec, Canada)
The only one of its kind in the Northern America. This hotel is rebuilt annually – and each time in a new theme. The list of entertainment for visitors includes skiing, a wedding in an ice chapel, sauna under the stars and a romantic evening in an ice suite.
This year it has been reincarnated into 42 uniquely-themed rooms (including luxury suites with fireplaces and spas!)
Arctic Resort Kakslauttane (Saariselka, Finland)
In northern Lapland, an entire resort is built near the Urho Kekkonen National Park. Here you can not only visit the sauna and enjoy the delicacies of venison and salmon in the restaurant, but also choose accommodation: a traditional wooden cottage, a snow igloo or a building made of pure ice with a completely transparent roof.
Every year is a new theme for the hotel, and in the past the ice walls have been carefully carved away to reveal Vikings, mythical creatures, Nordic legends and arctic wildlife.
Sorrisniva Igloo Hotel (Alta, Norway)
The hotel is located 20 km from the city of Alta and is a whole building made of snow with private rooms. In addition to relaxing in sleeping bags and reindeer skins, guests are offered hot tubs, saunas, dishes from the Arctic cuisine and cocktails in ice glasses.
If you time your trip right, you can also get a glimpse of the Northern Lights or even get hitched in the ice chapel.
Snow Village (Kittila, Finland)
The Snow Village is appropriately located more than 120 miles north of the Arctic Circle in the Finnish Lapland. More than 33 million pounds of snow are used to make Snow Village every winter. The hotel includes more than 30 rooms, a chapel, two restaurants (only one is made of ice), and a bar where you’ll never need to worry about your drink getting warm.